Facebook just announced that it will change its company name to Meta. The new name appears with a new logo, a blue M that looks sort of like an infinity (∞) symbol, and now that logo has replaced the iconic thumbs-up Like icon at the company’s global HQ in Menlo Park.
The organisation announced it would better “encompass” what it does as it widens its horizon beyond social media into sectors like virtual reality (VR).
Hmm. The “Facebook 👍 Sign” at 1 Hacker Way is covered in a temporary canvas/cover which also shows 👍. Earlier a small security team was putting up a barrier/cordon around it and guards are patrolling 🤷🏻♂️ (Note: did not see the cover go up) $FB #Facebook story @TheTerminal pic.twitter.com/NPUyBoH4v2
— Ed Ludlow (@EdLudlow) October 28, 2021
The change does not apply to any of its specific platforms, such as Facebook, Instagram and Whatsapp, only the parent firm that owns them. The move reflects a series of negative stories about Facebook, based on documents leaked by an ex-employee. Frances Haugen has blamed the company for putting “profits over safety”.
In 2015, Google restructured its business calling its parent company Alphabet.
Facebook chief Mark Zuckerberg declared the new name as he uncovered plans to create a “metaverse” – an online environment where people can play games, work and interact in a virtual atmosphere, often using VR headsets.
He said the current brand could not “probably symbolise everything that we’re doing now, let alone in the future”, and required to change.
What is a metaverse?
“Over time, I hope that we are seen as a metaverse corporation, and I want to anchor our work and our identity on what we’re building towards,” he told a virtual conference.
“We’re now looking at and reporting on our business as two different segments, one for our family of apps and one for our work on future platforms. And as part of this, it is time for us to adopt a new company brand to encompass everything that we do, to reflect who we are and what we hope to build.”
On Thursday, the company also unveiled a new sign at its headquarters in Menlo Park, California, replacing its thumbs-up “Like” logo with a blue infinity shape.
Mr Zuckerberg said the new name reflects that over time, users will not need to use Facebook to use the company’s other services. The word “meta” comes from the Greek term meaning “beyond”. To an outsider, a metaverse may look like an up-gradation of VR, but some people believe it could be the tomorrow of the internet.
Instead of being on a computer, people in a metaverse might use a headset to access a virtual world connecting all sorts of digital environments. It is expected the virtual world could be utilised for practically anything from work, play and even shows, to socialising with friends and family.
Facebook also stated it plans to start trading its shares under the new stock ticker MVRS from 1 December.